Fancy a nice cup of tea?

Ann with a Flowering Tea Bloom

A former Royal Mail human resources manager has lifted the lid on a new career by turning a hobby into a growing online speciality tea business.  Ann Davis from Doncaster set up The Tea Experience, originally selling traditional China teapots, after being inspired by a gift from her husband, Paul.  The business is expanding and now offers a complete tea drinking experience from imported loose tea to tea ware and gifts.

Recovering from breast cancer a few years ago, Ann was looking for a new direction which would give her the quality of work and lifestyle balance she wanted and with support from Paul, she established The Tea Experience.  What’s surprising about Ann’s new venture is that she has transformed herself from being a non tea drinker to a tea guru, having trained with international tea masters in London.

Importing loose tea from the Far East, Germany and the UK from specialist tea importers and wholesalers, the company ensures consistency of taste and quality for its customers.  The husband and wife team have been lucky enough to travel and work in the Far East, mainly in China, over a number a years.   Each trip provided the opportunity to try a variety of teas which often made them question the quality of what they were drinking at home.

The actual turning point was the gift of a Yixing ‘purple sand’ China teapot. After learning more about them and frequently being asked by friends where they could buy one, the enterprising couple decided to sell the teapots themselves. It was only natural that a small range of teas was added.

The growing business is always looking for innovative new products to bring to the UK market and its latest launch, an artisan tea, is causing a stir.   The Flowering Tea Bloom, a blossoming beverage handmade to order for the company by an award-winning producer in China, offers top quality blooms ensuring customers get the benefit of both great tasting tea and a stunning floral display too.

The blooms are skilfully made with silver needle green tea, a tea variant with leaves that are long and slender rather than the usual Camilla Sinesis leaves.  This tea also has a very fine coating of silver hairs which give the tea blooms a distinctive greyish appearance before it is infused.   The tea leaves are sorted by size and then made into miniature hand sewn bouquets with the dried flowers at the centre.

The artisan skill can take up to 10 minutes to make one bloom.  The tea is light and delicate with a whispered hint of the flowers. The Chinese believe that the flowers may also have health benefits, in the same way we drink flower teas in the UK, so combining this with known benefits of green tea this is a refreshing and healthy drink.

Commenting on her growing tea business, Ann Davis said: “After appreciating the quality of some loose teas versus teabags on our travels, it has become our passion and goal to encourage others to try loose tea.   We want our customers to enjoy a whole tea experience from trying the very best quality loose teas in the most beautiful traditional teapots.  We are still very small, but I can’ believe that my hobby of selling teapots is now growing into a viable website business.  It’s very exciting times for us and we are currently investing in new branding and marketing to help build the business further.”

The Tea Experience on the web……….website………..facebook……….twitter

All press enquiries: Andrea McKenzie, ABC Communications

Tel: 01423 819109/Mob: 07714 988989



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